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December 1954

SERIAL ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC AND CLINICAL STUDIES IN A CASE OF PROLONGED INSULIN COMA

Author Affiliations

MONTREAL, CANADA

From the Allan Memorial Institute of Psychiatry, McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1954;72(6):705-711. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1954.02330060041006
Abstract

PROLONGED coma is one of the important complications of insulin shock treatment for schizophrenia. With a normal or elevated blood sugar, induced by administration of dextrose, the patient remains comatose. Temperature becomes elevated, pulse becomes rapid, and there is a shifting neurological picture. Coma may persist from a few hours to several days, and when consciousness is recovered, there are frequently disturbances in the sensorium, memory changes, and other mental alterations of an organic type. The etiology is not clearly understood.1

Cases of prolonged coma obviously provide an excellent opportunity to study the brain potential correlates of reversible neurological and mental changes, usually severer and of longer duration than any which may be induced in humans by deliberate experimental manipulation. Since prolonged coma may occur in one-sixth of all patients subjected to a course of insulin coma therapy,2 it is surprising that few EEG studies have so far

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